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European markets close lower as investors gauge China's Covid relaxation, oil moves

This is CNBC's live blog covering European markets.

European markets closed lower on Monday, bucking a positive trend in Asia-Pacific markets overnight as China relaxed Covid testing rules in some cities and signaled more easing may come.

European markets


The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended 0.4% lower, with most sectors in negative territory. Food and beverage stocks shed 1.5% to lead losses, while basic resources gained 0.6%.

Oil prices turned negative by late afternoon trade in Europe as OPEC+ stuck to its policy of lowering oil production and as China relaxed some of its Covid rules.

The alliance of OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreed to stay the course on output policy ahead of the EU's ban on importing Russian crude that came into force Monday.

U.S. stocks fell Monday on fears that the Federal Reserve may continue tightening until it steers the economy into a recession.

European markets closed lower Friday, influenced by a decline in U.S. markets as investors digested the latest U.S. jobs data that showed payrolls rose by 263,000 in November, a bigger gain than expected.

It was the final monthly employment report before the Fed's two-day meeting on Dec. 13-14, in which the central bank is expected to slow to a 50 basis point interest rate hike from the 75 basis point hikes seen in recent months.

Stocks on the move: SBB up 13%, Rational down 8%

Swedish real estate company SBB saw its shares rise 13% by late afternoon, making gains on its earlier increases, after presenting its pro forma earning capacity for 2023 following the divestment of shares of education unit EduCo.

At the bottom of the index, German kitchen appliance manufacturer Rational fell 8%.

— Elliot Smith

It's 'quite bold' to suggest there's not going to be some bad news in 2023 for earnings in U.S.: Analyst

'Quite bold' to suggest there's not going to be some bad news in 2023 for earnings in U.S.: Analyst
VIDEO6:0806:08
Bold to suggest there won't be bad news in 2023 for earnings in U.S.: Analyst

Ben Jones, director of macro research at Invesco, says Europe, however, has "a lot more bad news priced in there."

There's 'a lot of upside' for tech, investment firm says

There's 'a lot of upside' for tech, investment firm says
VIDEO3:5703:57
There's 'a lot of upside' for tech, investment firm says

Per Roman, co-founder and managing partner of GP Bullhound, discusses the outlook for the tech sector and says "the height of political risk is a real awakening for the technology industry."

Euro zone economy likely heading for mild recession, S&P Global says

S&P Global's final composite PMI (purchasing managers' index) for the euro zone nudged up to 47.8 in November from a 21-month low of 47.3 in October, remaining below the 50 mark separating expansion from contraction.

"A fifth consecutive monthly falling output signalled by the PMI adds to the likelihood that the euro zone is sliding into recession," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

However, an easing in the rate of contraction means the region will likely only see GDP contract by 0.2%, Williamson projected.

- Elliot Smith

UK economy facing 'toughest spell' since financial crisis, S&P Global says

The U.K. services sector shrank for a second consecutive month in November as the country's cost of living crisis continued to squeeze demand, S&P Global's services PMI (purchasing managers' index) reading said Monday.

The services sector PMI remained at 48.2, equaling October's 21-month low and remaining below the 50 mark separating expansion from contraction.

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global, said the PMIs indicate a growing recession risk in the U.K.

"A change of government and its new economic policies may have helped arrested some of the financial market volatility after September's 'mini-budget' but the economic picture remains stubbornly unchanged," Williamson said.

"The overall rate of economic contraction has held steady compared to October, indicative of GDP falling at a quarterly rate of 0.4%. As such, this is the toughest spell the U.K. economy has faced since the global financial crisis excluding only the height of the pandemic."

- Elliot Smith

Stocks on the move: Grifols up 6%, Rational down 5%

Shares of Grifols climbed more than 6% in early trade to lead the Stoxx 600 after Morgan Stanley upgraded the Spanish pharmaceutical company's stock to "overweight" from "equal-weight."

At the bottom of the index, German kitchen appliance manufacturer Rational fell more than 5%.

- Elliot Smith

Vodafone CEO steps down

Vodafone said on Monday its Chief Executive Nick Read would step down at the end of the year, with Chief Financial Officer Margherita Della Valle serving as interim replacement.

Read's tenure has seen the British telecoms firm sell assets to focus on Europe and Africa and spin out its towers infrastructure unit, but he has failed to engineer the share price revival demanded by investors.

Shares of Vodafone were up 1.8% shortly after the market open.

Read more.

— Jenni Reid

Hong Kong movers: Chinese tech firms and reopening stocks jump

Chinese technology, consumer and travel-related firms listed in Hong Kong saw sharp gains in early trade after some cities in China saw some easing in Covid restrictions.

Tech heavyweights Tencent gained 5.5% and Meituan rose 3.5%, while Alibaba jumped 4.72% and Xiaomi added 7.31%. EV stocks such as Li Auto jumped 9.19% and Nio climbed 11.5%.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong-listed casino stocks also jumped, with MGM China rising 12.44%, Wynn Macau climbing 12.35% and Sands China adding 7.5%. Galaxy Entertainment rose 3.61% and SJM Holdings rose 4.82%.

Hotpot restaurant operator Haidilao soared 15%, and shares of airlines also popped. China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines each rose more than 5%, while Air China gained 4%.

The broader Hang Seng index was up 3.21%.

— Abigail Ng, Jihye Lee

Oil futures up 2% after OPEC+ holds steady and China reportedly eases some Covid restrictions

Oil futures rose after OPEC+ agreed to stick to its existing policy of reducing oil production ahead of Russia sanctions.

The European Union's agreed price cap of $60 for Russian oil comes into effect Monday, though economists at National Bank of Australia say it's "unclear what impact this will have on Russian exports and how Russia will respond."

Separately, oil prices were lifted on the latest reports signaling China is further easing its Covid curbs.

Brent crude futures, stood at $87.53 a barrel, up 2.29% in Asia hours while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures, traded at $81.78 a barrel, up over 2.2%.

— Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: Goldman Sachs upgrades this global tech giant, saying the stock could rise up to 90%

Goldman Sachs sees one opportunity in electric vehicles that's on an "upward trend."

This trend will gain pace as EVs become "ever more technology driven" and simpler to build, said Goldman analysts in a Dec. 1 report.

That's set to benefit one global stock, said Goldman, which gives the stock up to 90% upside in its bull case for the firm.

CNBC's Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

European markets: Here are the opening calls

European markets are heading for a higher open Thursday as markets react positively to the U.S. Federal Reserve's quarter-point rate hike.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 31 points higher at 7,788, Germany's DAX 101 points higher at 15,273, France's CAC up 35 points at 7,109 and Italy's FTSE MIB up 121 points at 26,870, according to data from IG.

On Thursday, investors in Europe will be focused on the latest monetary policy decisions from the European Central Bank and Bank of England.

It's a busy day for earnings with Shell, BT Group, Deutsche Bank, Banco Santander, ABB, Julius Baer and Roche reporting.

— Holly Ellyatt